World Cup winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has officially retired from international rugby. The 32-year-old player of 91 caps for England as well as six Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions confirmed his decision in an announcement on his website on Monday.
Some of the post read as follows: “I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from International rugby. To do so fills me with great sadness but I know that I have been blessed in so many ways to have experienced what I have with the England rugby team. I never ever believed that I would be able to give up on this dream which has driven me to live, breathe, love and embrace the game of rugby from the earliest days that I can remember…”
Wilkinson’s drop goal in the 2003 World Cup Final against Australia, saw England lift the trophy for the prestigious tournament. Wilkinson who leaves Test rugby as the second highest points scorer of all time behind the All Blacks’ Dan Carter, will continue to play for French club Toulon in the Top 14.
The decision does not come as a surprise as the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have made it clear for some time that they intend to enforce a policy of not selecting foreign-based players.
“Everyone who has played with, coached and watched Jonny play should feel privileged to have had an involvement with him,” said England head coach Stuart Lancaster.
Former Wales and British Lions player Gareth Thomas announced his retirement from rugby in October.
source: MSN Sport